As part of NHL.com's 31 in 31 series, the fantasy hockey staff identifies relevant players from the Carolina Hurricanes. For more fantasy coverage, visit NHL.com/Fantasy and subscribe for free to the NHL Fantasy on Ice podcast.
[Hurricanes 31 IN 31: Season preview | 3 Questions | Top prospects | Behind the Numbers]
Sebastian Aho, C/LW (NHL.com rank: 34) -- The forward set NHL career highs in goals (30), assists (53) and points (83) and has increased his totals in those categories in each of his first three NHL seasons. He also had his best totals yet in power-play points (24), shots on goal (243) and plus/minus (plus-25) last season. Aho should score at least 80 points again playing with usual linemate Teuvo Teravainen and either breakout candidate Andrei Svechnikov or Nino Niederreiter, making Aho worth drafting in the late third or early fourth round.
Video: Sebastian Aho checks in at No. 14 on the list
Teuvo Teravainen, LW/RW (90) -- The wing, who will turn 25 on Sept 11, improved his point total by 12, going from 64 in 2017-18 to 74 last season. He led the Hurricanes with 55 assists and was tied for sixth in the NHL with a plus-30. Playing with Aho is a big plus, and Teravainen, who has missed one game in the past three seasons, will likely top 70 points again and is attainable outside the top 75.
Video: 31 in 31: Carolina Hurricanes 2019-20 season preview
Dougie Hamilton, D (109) -- The defenseman finished second at the position with 18 goals last season, his first with the Hurricanes, behind Morgan Rielly (20); Hamilton was tied for first in goals (17) in 2017-18 with the Calgary Flames. He has seen a decline in points (from 50 to 44 to 39 last season), as well as PPP and plus/minus, over the past two seasons but is surrounded with young talent and capable of finishing among the top 20 fantasy defensemen in any given season.
Andrei Svechnikov, LW/RW (143) -- He had 20 goals and 37 points as a rookie, playing in all 82 games and gaining confidence as the year went on. He had an even rating and five power-play points and should build on those categories this season in an expanded role. The question is how consistent can he be after only scoring goals in back-to-back games three times. Svechnikov is a breakout candidate with a chance to play on the top line with Aho and Teravainen and first power play and score at least 30 goals.
Video: CAR@WSH, Gm1: Svechnikov buries first playoff goal
Petr Mrazek, G (154) -- After splitting time with Curtis McElhinney, Mrazek likely will see more than the 40 starts he had last season after McElhinney signed with the Tampa Bay Lightning on July 1. Mrazek had 23 wins, a .914 SV% and four shutouts in 40 regular-season games and also started 10 Stanley Cup Playoff games (5-5 with two shutouts). With his only competition being James Reimer and rookie Alex Nedeljkovic (one NHL start), Mrazek is ranked among the top 25 goalies with a chance to exceed his single-season high in starts (49) and be a true No. 1 goalie for a possible playoff team.
Video: Top 10 saves of 2018-19: Mrazek
Nino Niederreiter, LW/RW (184) -- After a poor start with the Minnesota Wild (23 points in 46 games), Niederreiter was acquired by the Hurricanes on Jan. 19 and found immediate success with Aho and Teravainen but was later moved off that line. Niederreiter had 30 points (14 goals, 16 assists) in 36 games after the trade and, if he plays away from Aho and Teravainen, could still be fantasy-relevant on the first power play and/or second line with Ryan Dzingel and Jordan Staal. It's also worth noting Niederreiter was better than a hit per game (94 in 82 games) last season.
Video: CAR@NYI, Gm2: Niederreiter breaks tie with deflection
Justin Faulk, D (187) -- Mostly paired with Calvin de Haan (traded to Chicago Blackhawks on June 25) and Brett Pesce last season, Faulk had 35 points (11 goals, 24 assists) in 82 games, and his plus-9 rating was the best of his eight-year NHL career. He took a step back on the power play with the acquisition of Hamilton, going from 19 PPP in 2017-18 to just 10 last season. Faulk may not be the fantasy player he once was but is still ranked among the top 50 defensemen.
Other players with fantasy upside in late rounds or off waiver wire: Jaccob Slavin, D; Justin Williams, RW (UFA); Jordan Staal, C; Ryan Dzingel, LW/RW; Alex Nedeljkovic, G
Listen: NHL Fantasy on Ice podcast